How To Improve Your Work Culture And Boost Your Team's Productivity
Company culture can make or break your business. If you see your business output decreasing, this can be a sign that your work culture needs improvements. After all, workplace culture affects not only the emotional state of employees but also their productivity.
Research shows that out of ten people, three admit that toxic workplace culture affects their behavior at home for the worse. They feel irritated and vent this fury to their partner or children and may even quit their job. In turn, businesses are forced to constantly recruit new staff.
The good thing here is that you can prevent the negative aspects by identifying them and then correcting and improving your work culture. So, let's see how!
Five Signs of a Bad Company Culture You Should Fix
To change the company culture, you should first identify some of the indicators that affect it. Don't ignore these signs if you want organized teams of workers who are willing to stay with you for the long term.
1. High Turnover Rate
When you want to evaluate your company culture, the first metric you'd want to check is the employee turnover rate.
Turnover rate statistically states what percentage of employees leave and join the company during a set time period. High exit rates are bad because they imply that the company has to constantly search for new staff.
Workload, combined with an unwelcoming work culture that does not make them feel like they are a part of the company, is the primary cause of this increase in turnover rate. The resulting process of finding, recruiting, and training new employees is quite costly for companies.
Experts suggest that employers should invest in retaining valuable employees rather than invest in recruiting new staff to lower the turnover rate when possible. And to properly conduct interviews, i.e., to compose the right sales interview questions.
2. Communication Gaps Among Team Members
Besides the rules established by the company itself, another major factor that creates a bad company culture is delayed communication, miscommunication, and lack of collaboration between employees.
A clear indication of this is when a task fails because a few team members cannot communicate efficiently with one another.
- Make sure that you have established a reliable communication environment:
- Consider using productivity tools such as Slack and Discord for instant team communications.
- Integrate an email client to avoid the frustration caused by messy inboxes.
Such small improvements encourage sharing of materials and within the team, leading to improvements in the work culture as a whole.
3. Managers Don't Appreciate the Core Values
Let's say that employees genuinely follow company rules regarding behavior, communication, and leadership, but what if your managers aren't supporting them? Managers should not only respect and talk about the core values of your company but also present a good example. Otherwise, a dissonance would confuse within the team.
If communication, openness, and integrity are among the company's core values, then managers should constantly be sharing their progress, honest feedback, and consider their members' suggestions. If managers speak about communication but aren't participating in team chats at all, it would be hard for the team to implement the advice.
You should focus on selecting your managers carefully. You may not be able to talk with each employee individually, but managers can ensure that good work culture is established in the workplace. Don't attempt to recruit new staff without having reliable managers.
4. Employees Are Isolated and Unfamiliar with Each Other
By isolating employees into their workspaces, they won't be encouraged to consult with team members, share ideas, and create quality work.
Let's say, for example, that you are in the software development space. Such areas often provide their employees with remote work but usually forget to offer their software teams informal meetings. These gatherings help to socialize and to remove the isolation of workers. Meetings can be either online and offline.
Also, during the onboarding process, you should encourage them to express their opinions freely and ask them to involve themselves in group discussions.
Office games during the happy Hour can also be helpful to get them out of their comfort zone and familiarize them with each other.
5. Favoritism and Imbalanced Working Conditions
Managers might favor one employee over the other because of their qualifications or other traits. If one employee is allowed to arrive late at work or take more days off than the others, you'll trigger envy and dissatisfaction. Therefore, keep in mind the following:
- Respect every employee equally and avoid discriminatory policies.
- Avoid rewarding and recognizing one employee over another publicly, as this might cause dissatisfaction among team members.
- Encourage networking and collaboration between members that will make the workday less automatic and tedious. When members walk around the office smiling and chit-chatting with each other, you know there's good chemistry that affects productivity for the better.
- Leverage your social media to encourage a more cohesive work culture. Regularly highlight individual and team milestones, pictures of employee birthday celebrations, and brand memes that your best customers and workers would understand.
After identifying and fixing the most common issues of your company's culture, consider improving your teamwork.
How To Start Enabling Better Teamwork in the Workplace?
When new employees start working in a company, they're presented with its internal culture from the first day. It determines how newcomers interact with their team members and how they approach work processes.
If newcomers are not prompted by their co-workers to cooperate as part of the team, they most likely won't join the team.
So, you as a leader have to fix bad work culture and put the spark into your team's daily work processes. But, where to start?
1. Drive Teams to Meet Their Goals
Working as a team doesn't mean that everyone should be involved in every part of the project. It actually means that everyone works to accomplish a team goal. It requires team members to clearly understand their tasks and distribute them based on the member's level of expertise and availability.
- As a team leader or project manager, you should do the following:
- Consider your employees' opinions and make sure each member understands the main goal clearly.
- Ask for your workers' feedback to make them feel an integral part of the business. When they know how their work fits in the big picture, they'll be accountable and cooperative.
2. Encourage Accountability and Leadership
Leadership isn't about being perfect at your job position but about establishing relationships with your co-workers where you can ask for support when you need it. So, you're never left hanging when you need a piece of information, but instead, ask for it yourself and then get back to focus on your task.
Studies show that one's output is affected by the opinions of others in the workplace.
If your team members feel equally responsible and appreciated for their accomplishments, they will know to self-lead and speak up whenever they notice a missing factor during the work process.
3. Don't Be Afraid to Over Communicate
Remember that a happy team is one of the keys to success in your business, so pay attention to the next aspects.
- Instead of leaving quietness dominating the working hours, be active.
- Share small milestones to keep the team engaged with the project.
- Exchange wins and struggles you're facing so that no one is stuck on a single problem for hours.
Short and formal meetings where each one wraps up what they are doing are just that, wrap-up meetings.
Most of the problems occur during the work process. Smooth communication keeps everyone on the same page and is the key to solving challenging problems quicker.
4. Build a Set of Values and Morale in Teams
Build a system of values within the workplace for every employee to follow and stick to. Create a positive atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcomed and motivated.
At the same time, try to reward them for each accomplishment and say "thank you" more often.
Showing how their work contributes to the team and the overall goal will motivate them to work harder and feel more important. Don't limit this to personal acknowledgment. Celebrate small wins as a team.
Takeaway: Work Culture Starts with You
Some business owners and team leaders think that enforcing harsh rules against those who don't hit their daily or weekly goals is enough to take the company forward. But this affects employees for the worse and prompts them to be less productive and even quit.
Instead, the emphasis should be on cultivating a good work culture, thereby increasing employee retention, productivity, and overall revenue.
A productive workplace doesn't start with your employees. It starts with you and what work culture you instill into them since the first interaction.
Discover their core values by asking the appropriate interview questions that will help you understand how good of a team player they are. You should aim to build a unified team committed to bringing results to the workplace and wants to stay with you for the long term.